Sunday, 24 July 2011

Books I Have Read-The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden is an amazing story. I have always wondered about it. It has been mentioned over the years and created into one film that I know of but I wouldn't be surprised to find it had been made into more and even plays.
Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote the story in 1911 and even though it is a simple plot I found myself not caring.

I wondered if she wrote it not just because of her love of gardens but because she had suffered the same type of thing or saw what dark thoughts can do to people. The terrible life she and her family led after her father died (1853) and the family was plunged into indescribable poverty in the Victorian slums of Manchester must of had an effect on her and everyone she saw. Fortunately the family moved to the USA in 1865.

I do not know if I enjoyed the story because I like gardens or if the mind of Mary, Colin and his father remind me of my mind. What it used to be like.

The Secret Garden - the robin is on the cover because he started it all

I had suffered with depression for twenty years and the theme of the story is -
"Two things cannot be in one place.
Where you tend the rose, my lad,
A thistle cannot grow."

She is talking of thoughts.

"Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot ...."

"While the secret garden was coming alive and two children were coming alive with it, there was a man wandering about certain far-away beautiful places in the Norwegian fjords, and the valleys and mountains of Switzerland, and he was a man who for ten years had kept his mind filled with dark and heartbroken thinking. He had not been courageous; he had never tried to put any other thoughts is the place of the dark ones."

later in the story
"He sat and gazed at the sunlit water and his eyes began to see things growing at its edge. There was one lovely mass of blue forget-me-nots growing so close to the stream and its leaves were wet and at these he found himself looking as he remembered he had looked at such things years ago. He was actually thinking tenderly how lovely it was and what wonders of blue its hundreds of little blossoms were. He did not know that just that simple thought was slowly filling his mind - filling and filling it until other things were softly pushed aside. It was as if a sweet, clear spring had begun to rise in a stagnant pool and had risen and risen until at last it swept the dark water away."

I can tell you from experience that it is VERY hard to keep that one beautiful thought in your mind. It is like a tiny speck of light in a huge room filled with dark smothering gloom. The only way the speck can survive is if it is fed another beautiful thought and another and another so that it can grow. Eventually pushing out the darkness that seeps into every part of a persons body and makes them sick. This, for me took years as it is VERY difficult to remember, to wish, to believe that your life can be any different from what it is. It is as if you are lost in a deep dark hole. You can not see the bottom, the sides, the edge and you do not know how you will EVER get out but in the end I did it and here I am. You can to if you just believe in yourslef.
The Secret Garden, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Published by Puffin Classics


  1. Hello Nicola,

    I was just setting up my blog and put a link to your site. It's amazing - just amazing. You are so incredibly gifted in all that you create.

    Very insightful blog post. Love the rose/thistle quote. Its so true.

    All the best Nicola. We'll miss you tomorrow from our big 'Book in a day' effort. Take care. Janis

  2. Thank you Janis for yur beautiful thoughts. I will miss being involved with the 'Book in a Day' but as I see, now I am back from my trip, that you lot have created something amazing and I am dieing to see and read it.

  3. I've always liked the The Secret Garden,but you have to admit that Mary Lennox is kind of stupid!

    1. It depends Anonymous on 'how' or 'in what capacity' she is 'kind of stupid'. I have not looked into the type of person she was or any other work that she has created. I have only read this book and my comments on that are above. Thanks for 'your' comments. It is always interesting to have other peoples opionions.